Dear Hennie

You’re 3 months old today! I feel like this milestone marks the end of our bodies being shared. We operated as one for three trimesters while you came to life inside my belly and when you finally arrived earth-side I was surprised to find that we continued to feel like one unit. You are still carried by my body and fed by my body, and our emotions have been more co-dependent than I would like. But the fourth trimester is over now and my body is starting to feel like my own again after a whole year of sharing it with you. The time for you to be truly independent from me is years in the future, and I long for and dread that time all at once.

For now we are still adjusting to the changes you’ve wrought upon our quiet lives. Motherhood has been nothing like I expected it would be, it has been infinitely more difficult. What has been the most exasperating is the voice you brought with you when you came into our world. I feel so hopeless sometimes when I can’t figure out what it is that you need from me, and not all of the time we have spent together has been as fulfilling as I expected it would be. Since the day we took you home I’ve been waiting for you to become a more manageable baby, but as usual I suspect that what needs to be managed are my expectations; they are robbing me of my ability to appreciate and enjoy my time with you while you are still little.

I’m going to let go of my own expectations now and accept you just the way you are. I’m so glad that you’re mine! I may get less smiles than other mamas but my life is just as bright. You have an indefatigable voice that commands attention and begs to be heard. You were born into a crazy world that is beautiful and lost and in desperate need of powerful, determined voices like yours. I promise that I will never encourage you to be silent and I hope that you will use your big voice to be a hurricane of good in this world. Raise hell, little one.

Love, your mama

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